Wednesday, April 18, 2018

History of Bethel Church

History of Bethel Methodist Church   (Lukin Township) written by Nancy King

The first Methodist Church in Lawrence County was the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, organized as a Methodist Class in the winter of 1818-19.  Bethel is a Biblical word meaning “A Holy Place”. The charter members of this group were Jacob Schrader, Catherine Schrader, John Ruark, Mary Ruark, James Rawlings and wife, Nancy Keneipp and Elizabeth Schrader.  The Ruark and Schrader families were among the early settlers of what is now Lukin Township.  John Ruark’s father and brother, both named Shadrack, were Methodist ministers and Jacob Schrader had strong ties to the leaders of the Methodist Church.

Once organized, they began holding meetings in the home of Jacob Schrader.  A second class was formed consisting of children and 15 year old Samuel Schrader was appointed leader of this class.  Two local preachers from Indiana, Stone and Wallace, assisted these early settlers in establishing Methodism in Lawrence County.  John Schrader, another son of Jacob, was a Methodist minister and circuit rider, credited with establishing many churches in southern Indiana.  The Rev John Schrader was assigned to the First Methodist Church of Vincennes in 1815.  He also assisted in the task of establishing a Methodist society in this area which was the home of his family. Charles Solcumb was the first pastorate appointed in 1819 to the Mt. Carmel circuit, which included territory in what is now Edwards, Lawrence, Wabash, Crawford, Jasper, and Richland counties.

The Bethel congregation continued to meet in their homes and Samuel Schrader’s wagon shed, until a log structure was erected in 1831.  The log church also served as a school for the local children.  The building was described as being very primitive with seating made from split logs.   Samuel married Margaret Corrie in 1825 and they joined with the other members of Bethel, working together for Bethel’s first church building.  Margaret rode horse back through the community and neighboring towns, raising money to build the log church.

Bethel church 1857
A frame church was erected in 1857 on land that Samuel and Margaret deeded to the Bethel congregation. The church had two doors in the front for people to enter, one for the women and children, and one for the men.  The congregation grew and began looking ahead to the construction of a larger brick building.  The third building became a reality in 1891, when construction was completed, followed by a dedication service in 1892.  The frame church was sold and moved to another location. 

During worship services in 1916, a fire was discovered in the attic of the new brick church.  All in attendance helped remove what could be salvaged, before the flames engulfed the structure.  The last song the congregation sang was “Never Give Up.”  The people did not give up, even though there was no insurance to cover the $4,500 amount of damages.  With only the brick walls still standing, the congregation rebuilt the brick church, adding a basement, front porch, new bell tower, newly constructed interior and new roof.  The rebuilt church was rededicated in 1917. 

This building continued serving the Bethel community until 1997, when the attendance had dwindled to only ten faithful attendees.  The difficult decision was made to close the doors of the church. The congregation held a homecoming celebration in the summer and the final
Bethel Church 1917
service was held in December of 1997.   Not wanting to see the beloved church vandalized or converted to another use, the building was taken down and the Bethel Methodist Church became another Lawrence County memory.

Bethel Church 1972

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sumner Press Obits 1905-1919 More C's

Obits published in the Sumner Press and summarized by researcher, K Borden

Elizabeth Chapman was born April 8, 1836 in Brown County, Ohio, moving to Lawrence County about fifty years ago.  She married H. L. Chapman about 55 years ago. Six children were born of this union. She died July 31, 1909 aged 73 years, 3 months, and 3 days.  Funeral services were held at Mt. Zion Church Sunday August 1 at 3:00 pm.

Martia Stephens Christy was born in Pennsylvania on January 23, 1868 and married George Christy on January 24, 1888. To this union 13 children were born.  She died Tuesday July 11, 1914, at 11 o’clock.  The funeral was held at the Presbyterian Church on Thursday afternoon at 11 o’clock with burial in the Sumner Cemetery.

Rebecca Christy, wife of H S Christy, died January 4, 1918.  She was the mother of George Christy.  

Charles Clark was born in Loraine County, Ohio, October 23, 1838.  At the age of 10 years he came with his parents to Illinois where he spent the remainder of his life.  He was married to Miss Fannie Clubb, March 10, 1866.  She preceded him a little over nine years ago.  He passed away January 17, 1911 at the age of 72 years, 2 months, and 24 days.  He was a soldier, having served in the Civil War three years.  Two brothers went with him and of the three, he was the only one to return home. Francis and Whitney were killed during battles.  He was a member of the 11th Missouri infantry.  He died at his home east of town Tuesday night at midnight.  The funeral services were held at the family home Thursday at 10 o’clock and interment made in the Sumner Cemetery.

Lucy Baird Clark was born December 28, 1836 in the state of Ohio, and came to Lawrence County when quite young.  She married D. T. Clark November 1854 and moved to Sumner in 1856.   She died September 23, 1910. She and her husband helped to organize the Christian Church in Sumner. Three daughters and two sons, as well as her husband, survive her.  The funeral was held in Peoria, Illinois, Sunday September 25, 1910 with the remains being brought to Sumner, Monday and taken to Pleasant Hill Cemetery (White House) for burial.

Della D. Fiscus Clevy was born in Lawrence County near Sumner, October 14, 1880 spending the early part of her life in the Beulah vicinity. Her parents were Clinton and Elsie Fiscus. She married William Clevy January 1, 1901 and moved near Bridgeport.  Three children were born, two of whom died in infancy and the youngest son, age 6, surviving the mother.  Della died November 30, 1918, age 38 years, 1 month, 16 days. The funeral was held Monday afternoon at the Brian cemetery with interment at the same place.

Winnie Ester Clift was born May 21, 1908 and died February 14, 1909 after a short illness of whooping cough.  The remains were interred in the Leach cemetery.

Merrill Clubb was born in Lawrence County, September 13, 1838, the son of Eli and Elizabeth Clubb and died June 17, 1910, 9 pm, aged 71 years, 9 months, and 4 days. He married Ella E. Richardson February 28, 1882. Funeral services were held at the family home Sunday morning at 10 o’clock.  (No cemetery was given.)

Capt. John S. Cochenour, gallant officer of the Civil War, and who lost a leg in battle, passed away 8:30 Friday night, March 7, 1919.   Soldiers of the Civil War were pall bearers.  (No cemetery was given.)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Killed in Korea 1950

 Bob Faith Reported Killed in Korea 1950
Popular Lawrenceville Athlete dies in Battle on July 11; Had been formerly listed as Missing

Pvt. Robert G Faith, 19 better known as Bob, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Faith of Birds, has been confirmed as killed in the Korean Theater of action.  In a telegram to his parents yesterday, the War Dept. informed them that Bob was killed on July 11 of this year.  He had been missing since that time.

The last letter Mrs. Faith had from her son was written on June 4 and on August 17 a telegram to the parents informed them that their son had been missing in action since July 11. 
Faith attended Lawrenceville High School until he enlisted in the Army in January 1949.  He was sent overseas in April of 1949, and was serving with the 24th Division.

Bob was on the football roster in the fall of 1948 and was awarded a letter that year for playing at end and tackle position.  He interrupted his schooling in January, to enlist with the Army in the middle of his junior year.  He also pitched baseball for the Junior American Legion team. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Guns Kill People Particularly if Chickens are Involved

September 1890
Sunday while the family of Joseph DeBouef of St, Francisville were all away from home with the exception of two sons, a fearful accident occurred. August, the oldest son, age 24, was accidentally shot by his brother Lewis,19, through the abdomen with a revolver.

The boys found the revolver in the house and it contained two cartridges.  They concluded they would shoot them off. They went out on the porch and the oldest shot first at a chicken and missed it.  His brother then shot and also missed it.  He said he would kill it and proceeded to put in a new cartridge.  While he was loading the revolver it went off and shot his brother, the ball entering the left side of his abdomen and passing through his body coming out the opposite side.   A doctor from Vincennes was called and dressed the wound.

The wound was a bad one and  proved fatal.  The young man was soon to wed a prominent young lady of St Francisville.  His brother was distraught with grief.

An inquest by the coroner was held.  After hearing the evidence the jury’s exonerated the brother.

Weekly Western Sun “Seriously Wounded” Friday September 19, 1890
Defiance Daily Crescent, Defiance Ohio September 18, 1890

Ed Note:  Earlier this month we posted a similar story that happened in St. Francisville in 1917 about 2 playmates who were playing with a gun in the hayloft. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Sketch of Birds

A sketch of the village of Birds 
 The village of Birds at the turn-of-the-century was a thriving, bustling village of varied businesses and trades. The village was established in the year 1876, one year after the C.C.C. &. St. Louis Railroad Co. placed their line through this section of the country. The greater part of the land was donated by John Bird, for whom memory the town was named, for the railroad right-of-way. 

John Bird paid for the acreage comprising the village of Birds from his mustering out pay for serving in the Spanish-American war. Every other lot in the John Bird section, or main part of town, was given to the railroad company; this consisted of about 10 lots. These lots were later given to the carpenters for the building of the first depot and the railroad station platform that was in service until 1916, at which time it was torn down and a modern up – to – date town depot was erected in its place.

The village was not incorporated until 1894. The post office was not established until 1875, about ½ mile east of Birds. Isaac Baldridge was the first postmaster. In 1904 the first rural route was established from the Bird’s post office. Other than the post office and railroad depot, four general stores, one grocery and meat store, one garage, two poultry buyers, one drugstore, one barbershop, one confectionery store, one bank, and one doctor’s office were located in the village at the turn-of-the-century. Also included in the village were two churches, the United Brethren and the Free Methodist, four fraternal and social clubs or lodges, and one public school for grades one through eight.

In 1967 the village of Birds still had two churches, one public school, one grocery store, one laundromat, one tavern, a post office, and a fire station.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Finally-- a Picture of Hadley School Students

When the country school book was published by the Historical Society a few years ago, there were 5 of the 76 schools that we could not find photos of the building or the students.  Now a few photos of Hadley school have been donated. This one is from Anita Fiscus Couts. Her father began first grade there about 1921.

The students in the above photo are:
Back row:  James Piper, Janet Smith, James Lancaster, Robert Hayes, Ronald Piper, Anita Fiscus, Norma Shick and Fern Paddick-teacher
Front Row: David Piper, Edith Wright, John Piper, John Lancaster, Evelyn Hayes, Kenneth Lancaster, Ellen Hayes, Harold Fiscus, Sandra Rodrick

This was the student body the last year the school was open.  The school closed at the end of 1954-55 school year.  There were five graduates in the last graduating class. They were: Janet Smith, James Lancaster, Robert Hayes, Ronald Piper and Anita Fiscus.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sumner Press Obits 1905-1919 C's

Obits published in the Sumner Press and summarized by researcher K Borden.

Alexander Carrell was born in Wayne County Illinois April 9, 1867 and died at his home in Sumner Illinois, September 10, 1917, aged 60 yrs., 5 mo., and 1 day.  He was first married to Mrs. Nancy Ann Sellers in 1887. Two sons, James Leroy and William Elmer, were born of this marriage.  Nancy Ann died December 16, 1891. His second marriage was to Miss Sarah Ellen Umfleet in 1899.  Two more sons were born, Virgil Ray and Harold Alexander.  Sarah Ellen died in 1908.  Carrell’s third wife was Emma H. Howell; they married in 1910.  At the time of his death, Mr. Carrell was one of Sumner’s oldest citizens.  Although he had been in poor health for several months, he was apparently better during the past three weeks and his sudden demise was unexpected.  He and Mrs. Carrell had retired for the night and she awoke after 4 o’clock the next morning and discovered that he had died, probably sometime after midnight.  Heart trouble was the cause of death.  Funeral services were held at Sumner UB Church Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 with interment in the Sumner cemetery.  

Sarah Ellen Umfleet Carroll  (note that in her obituary, the name was spelled Carroll while her husband’s in his obit was spelled Carrell) was born in Sumner September 28, 1879 and died February 29, 1908. She was married to Alex Carroll on November 13, 1899. They had two sons, one died in August 1905 as a child and the other was only an infant at her death.  She had been sick several days, and her death was not unexpected.  The funeral was Monday morning at the West Christian Church and the remains laid to rest in the Sumner cemetery.

Dora Ann Shirley Cochran Carter was born September 9, 1856 in Sumner, Illinois, died 1:30 pm Wednesday January 8, 1919 in Beloit, Kansas. In 1876, she married Hiram Cochran; seven children were born of this marriage.  Hiram died in 1896.  In 1900 Mrs. Cochran married Russ Carter in Beloit; he died in 1911.  She raised his nine children and also a daughter of her son, Oliver, from the age of 14 months.

Daniel T. Catterton, a native of Lawrence County, died July 22, 1917, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. R. M. Kirkwood. The deceased was 80 years, 2 months and 23 days. His death was caused by a paralytic stroke.  Funeral services were held at the home Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock with interment in the city cemetery.

Dale Cessna, the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cessna of Petty Township, died of diphtheria on March 3, 1909, Wednesday morning around 9 o’clock.

Orin Augustus Cessna was born August 15, 1866 and died August 24, 1911; age 45 years and 9 days.  He was born and reared in Petty Township and later moved to Lawrenceville where he operated a livery business.  He then moved to a farm southwest of Sumner.  He was afflicted with kidney disease and a short time before his death suffered a paralytic stroke that hastened the end.  He was survived by a wife and two children.  (Their names were not given in the obit.)  Funeral services were held on Saturday about noon at the Pleasant Hill church in Petty Township and the remains laid in the nearby cemetery.